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Boyce and Hart

Boyce and Hart

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Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart (born Robert Luke Harshman, February 18, 1939, Phoenix
Phoenix, Arizona
Phoenix is the capital, and largest city, of the U.S. state of Arizona, as well as the sixth most populated city in the United States. Phoenix is home to 1,445,632 people according to the official 2010 U.S. Census Bureau data...

, Arizona
Arizona ; is a state located in the southwestern region of the United States. It is also part of the western United States and the mountain west. The capital and largest city is Phoenix...

) were a prolific songwriting
A songwriter is an individual who writes both the lyrics and music to a song. Someone who solely writes lyrics may be called a lyricist, and someone who only writes music may be called a composer...

 duo, best known for the songs they wrote for The Monkees
The Monkees
The Monkees are an American pop rock group. Assembled in Los Angeles in 1966 by Robert "Bob" Rafelson and Bert Schneider for the American television series The Monkees, which aired from 1966 to 1968, the musical acting quartet was composed of Americans Micky Dolenz, Michael Nesmith and Peter Tork,...


Early years

Hart's father was a church minister
Minister of religion
In Christian churches, a minister is someone who is authorized by a church or religious organization to perform functions such as teaching of beliefs; leading services such as weddings, baptisms or funerals; or otherwise providing spiritual guidance to the community...

 and he himself served in the Army
An army An army An army (from Latin arma "arms, weapons" via Old French armée, "armed" (feminine), in the broadest sense, is the land-based military of a nation or state. It may also include other branches of the military such as the air force via means of aviation corps...

 after leaving high school
High school
High school is a term used in parts of the English speaking world to describe institutions which provide all or part of secondary education. The term is often incorporated into the name of such institutions....

, Upon discharge, he travelled to Los Angeles
Los Ángeles
Los Ángeles is the capital of the province of Biobío, in the commune of the same name, in Region VIII , in the center-south of Chile. It is located between the Laja and Biobío rivers. The population is 123,445 inhabitants...

 seeking a career as a singer. Boyce was separately pursuing a career as a singer. After being rejected numerous times, Boyce took his father's suggestion to write a song called "Be My Guest" for rock and roll star Fats Domino
Fats Domino
Antoine Dominique "Fats" Domino, Jr. is an American R&B and rock and roll pianist and singer-songwriter. He was born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana, and Creole was his first language....

. He waited six hours at Domino's hotel room to present him with the demo, and got Domino to promise to listen to the song. The song hit #8 in the US and #11 in the UK, becoming Domino's biggest hit there in several years, and sold over a million copies. Boyce met Hart in 1959, and the following year played guitar on Hart's single "Girl In The Window," which flopped, but marked the first time he used the name Bobby Hart, since his manager shortened it to fit the label.

Their partnership made a breakthrough with a song recorded by Chubby Checker
Chubby Checker
Chubby Checker is an American singer-songwriter. He is widely known for popularizing the twist dance style, with his 1960 hit cover of Hank Ballard's R&B hit "The Twist"...

, "Lazy Elsie Molly", in 1964. They went on to write hits for Jay & the Americans ("Come a Little Bit Closer"), Paul Revere and the Raiders ("(I'm Not Your) Steppin' Stone
(I'm Not Your) Steppin' Stone
" Steppin' Stone" is a rock song by Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart. It was first recorded by Paul Revere & the Raiders and appeared on their 1966 album Midnight Ride....

") and The Leaves
The Leaves
The Leaves were an American garage band formed in California in 1963. They are best known for their version of the song "Hey Joe", which was a hit in 1966. Theirs is the earliest release of this song, which became a rock standard.-History:...

 ("Words"). The latter two songs provided the Monkees with hit B-sides in 1967. The duo also wrote the theme song to the daytime soap Days of Our Lives
Days of our Lives
Days of our Lives is a long running daytime soap opera broadcast on the NBC television network. It is one of the longest-running scripted television programs in the world, airing nearly every weekday in the United States since November 8, 1965. It has since been syndicated to many countries around...

. At one point in this period, Hart also co-wrote "Hurt So Bad
Hurt So Bad
"Hurt So Bad" is a 1965 pop/R&B hit single by Little Anthony & The Imperials, taken from their album, Goin' out of My Head. It was the follow-up to that album's smash-hit title song, and like that song, also became a Billboard Top 10 hit, reaching #10, and was an R&B Top 10 hit as well, reaching...

" for Little Anthony & the Imperials
Little Anthony & The Imperials
Little Anthony and the Imperials is a rhythm and blues/soul/doo-wop vocal group from New York, first active in the 1950s. Lead singer Jerome Anthony "Little Anthony" Gourdine was noted for his high-pitched falsetto voice, influenced by Jimmy Scott...

 with Teddy Randazzo
Teddy Randazzo
Teddy Randazzo was a NYC born pop songwriter who composed 1960s hit songs such as "Goin' Out of My Head", "It's Gonna Take a Miracle", and "Hurt So Bad"...

 and his regular songwriting partner, Bobby Weinstein
Bobby Weinstein
Bobby Weinstein is an American songwriter, singer, and music industry executive, whose hit songs, mostly co-written with Teddy Randazzo, include "Goin' Out Of My Head", "It's Gonna Take A Miracle", and "I'm On The Outside "....


The Monkees

In late 1965, they wrote, produced and performed the soundtrack to the pilot
Television pilot
A "television pilot" is a standalone episode of a television series that is used to sell the show to a television network. At the time of its inception, the pilot is meant to be the "testing ground" to see if a series will be possibly desired and successful and therefore a test episode of an...

 of The Monkees, including singing lead vocals (which were later replaced, once the show was cast). In 1966, despite some conflicts with Don Kirshner
Don Kirshner
Don Kirshner , known as "The Man With the Golden Ear", was an American song publisher and rock producer who is best known for managing songwriting talent as well as successful pop groups, such as The Monkees, Kansas and The Archies.-Early life:Don Kirshner was born to Gilbert Kirshner, a tailor,...

, who was the show's musical supervisor, they were retained in substantially the same role. It was Boyce and Hart who wrote, produced and recorded (with the help of their band, the Candy Store Prophets
Candy Store Prophets
The Candy Store Prophets were a 1960s rock band, headed by singer-songwriters Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart. Their lineup included Boyce and Gerry McGee on guitar, Hart on keyboards, Larry Taylor on bass guitar and Billy Lewis on drums....

) backing tracks for a large portion of the first season of The Monkees, and the band's accompanying debut album.

The Monkees themselves re-recorded their vocals over Boyce and Hart's when it came time to release the songs, including both "(Theme from) The Monkees
(Theme from) The Monkees
" The Monkees" is a 1966 popular song, written by Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart as the theme song for the TV series The Monkees. It later appeared on their album The Monkees. Originally intended as an album track, it was later released as a single in Australia, where it became a hit. It is still...

" and "Last Train to Clarksville
Last Train to Clarksville
"Last Train to Clarksville" was the debut single by The Monkees, released August 16, 1966, and later included on the group's 1966 self-titled album, that was released on October 10, 1966. The song was recorded at RCA Victor Studio B in Hollywood, on July 25, 1966...

," the latter of which was a huge hit. Kirshner suddenly relieved Boyce and Hart as producers, by claiming they were using studio time booked for Monkees songs to record tracks for their own solo project.

After their departure from the Monkees, and the negative publicity that erupted when word got out that the band hadn't played the instruments on their early records, Boyce and Hart were unsure how the Monkees felt about them personally. Attending one of their concerts, though, the duo were spotted in the audience, and singer Davy Jones
Davy Jones (actor)
David Thomas "Davy" Jones is an English rock singer-songwriter and actor best known as a member of the Monkees.-Early life:...

 invited them onstage, to introduce them: "These are the fellows who wrote our great hits — Tommy and Bobby!" Every original Monkees album (except for the Head soundtrack) included Boyce and Hart songs.

Other successes

While working with The Monkees, Boyce and Hart embarked on a successful career as recording artists in their own right, releasing three albums on A&M Records
A&M Records
A&M Records is an American record label owned by Universal Music Group that operates under the mantle of its Interscope-Geffen-A&M division.-Beginnings:...

: Test Patterns, I Wonder What She's Doing Tonight, and It's All Happening on the Inside (released in Canada as Which One's Boyce and Which One's Hart?). The duo also had five charting singles; the most well-known of these was "I Wonder What She's Doing Tonight
I Wonder What She's Doing Tonight
I Wonder What She's Doing Tonight was a song written, produced, and sung by Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart . The song was arranged by Artie Butler. It was a hit in 1968, reaching #7 on the Cash Box chart and #8 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The song features a trumpet solo by Marvin Stamm...

," which reached #8 in early 1968. It sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc
Music recording sales certification
Music recording sales certification is a system of certifying that a music recording has shipped or sold a certain number of copies, where the threshold quantity varies by type and by nation or territory .Almost all countries follow variations of the RIAA certification categories,...

. "Out and About" (#39) and "Alice Long
Alice Long
Alice Long was written, produced & sung by Tommy Boyce & Bobby Hart in 1968. The song was arranged by Artie Butler and reached #16 on the Cash Box chart and #27 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart....

" (#27) were their other Top 40 hits. The duo also performed "I'll Blow You A Kiss in the Wind" on the television show Bewitched
Bewitched is an American situation comedy originally broadcast for eight seasons on ABC from 1964 to 1972, starring Elizabeth Montgomery, Dick York and Dick Sargent , Agnes Moorehead, and David White. The show is about a witch who marries a mortal and tries to lead the life of a typical suburban...

in one of several TV
Television is a telecommunication medium for transmitting and receiving moving images that can be monochrome or colored, with accompanying sound...

 series appearances that included guest spots on The Flying Nun
The Flying Nun
The Flying Nun is an American sitcom produced by Screen Gems for ABC based on the 1965 book The Fifteenth Pelican, by Tere Rios, which starred Sally Field as Sister Bertrille...

and I Dream of Jeannie
I Dream of Jeannie
I Dream of Jeannie is a 1960s American sitcom with a fantasy premise. The show starred Barbara Eden as a 2,000-year-old genie, and Larry Hagman as an astronaut who becomes her master, with whom she falls in love and eventually marries...

("Jeannie the Hip Hippie"). In each of the three sitcom guest appearances, their music was featured including two covers (unreleased) they did on "The Flying Nun".

Boyce and Hart also had filmed video promos for their songs "Out And About" and "Alice Long".

Boyce and Hart also were involved with producing music for motion pictures for Columbia Pictures during the mid-late 1960s, including two Matt Helm
Matt Helm
Matt Helm is a fictional character created by author Donald Hamilton. He is a U.S. government counter-agent—a man whose primary job is to kill or nullify enemy agents—not a spy or secret agent in the ordinary sense of the term as used in spy thrillers.-The character and the series:The...

 movies (The Ambushers
The Ambushers
The Ambushers is the title of a novel by Donald Hamilton first published in 1963, continuing the exploits of assassin Matt Helm.-Plot introduction:Matt Helm conducts a by-the-book assassination in the Central American nation of Costa Verde...

and Murderer's Row
Murderers' Row (film)
Murderers' Row is a 1966 American comedy-spy-fi film starring Dean Martin and very loosely based upon the Matt Helm spy novel Murderers' Row by Donald Hamilton, which was published in 1962....

), Winter A-Go-Go and Where Angels Go, Trouble Follows. They also provided the music score for a TV movie called "Three's a Crowd" starring Larry Hagman
Larry Hagman
Larry Martin Hagman is an American film and television actor, producer and director known for playing J.R. Ewing in the 1980s primetime television soap opera Dallas and Major Anthony "Tony" Nelson in the 1960s sitcom I Dream of Jeannie.-Early life and career:Hagman was born in Fort Worth, Texas...

 and Jessica Walter
Jessica Walter
Jessica Walter is an American actress, known for the films Play Misty for Me, Grand Prix, and for her role as Lucille Bluth on the sitcom Arrested Development...

Boyce and Hart were also tasked to do promos for the US Army Reserve and Coca Cola. This included the creation of two Coca-Cola commercial jingles, one being a powerful psychedelic "Wake Up Girl" song while the other is their single "Smilin'" with totally different lyrics.

In 1971 a sitcom named Getting Together
Getting Together (TV series)
Getting Together was a musical situation comedy, which aired on the ABC television network during the 1971-72 season. It starred Bobby Sherman and Wes Stern as Bobby Conway and Lionel Poindexter, a songwriting duo...

appeared on ABC
American Broadcasting Company
The American Broadcasting Company is an American commercial broadcasting television network. Created in 1943 from the former NBC Blue radio network, ABC is owned by The Walt Disney Company and is part of Disney-ABC Television Group. Its first broadcast on television was in 1948...

-TV, starring Bobby Sherman
Bobby Sherman
Robert Cabot "Bobby" Sherman, Jr. , is an American singer, actor and occasional songwriter, who became a popular teen idol in the late 1960s and early 1970s.He graduated in 1961 from Birmingham High School in Van Nuys, California...

 and Wes Stern as two struggling songwriters, who were friends of The Partridge Family
The Partridge Family
The Partridge Family is an American television sitcom about a widowed mother and her five children who embark on a music career. The series originally ran from September 25, 1970 until August 31, 1974, the last new episode airing on March 23, 1974, on the ABC network, as part of a Friday-night lineup...

 (and were introduced on their show). The series was reportedly based loosely on Boyce and Hart's partnership. At this point, they decided to work on various solo projects.

Dolenz, Jones, Boyce, and Hart

In the mid-1970s, Boyce and Hart reunited with Davy Jones
Davy Jones (actor)
David Thomas "Davy" Jones is an English rock singer-songwriter and actor best known as a member of the Monkees.-Early life:...

 and Micky Dolenz
Micky Dolenz
George Michael "Micky" Dolenz, Jr. is an American actor, musician, television director, radio personality and theater director, best known as a member of the 1960s made-for-television band The Monkees.-Biography:...

, performing the songs Boyce and Hart had written for The Monkees a decade before. Legally prohibited from using the Monkees name, they called themselves Dolenz, Jones, Boyce & Hart
Dolenz, Jones, Boyce & Hart
Dolenz, Jones, Boyce & Hart was an album released by the group of the same name, released in 1976. The group consisted of Micky Dolenz, Davy Jones, Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart. Dolenz and Jones had been members of '60s pop group/band The Monkees while Boyce and Hart had written many of the groups...

. The group toured amusement parks and other venues throughout America
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

 and other locations from July 4, 1975 to early 1977, also becoming the first American band to play in Thailand
Thailand , officially the Kingdom of Thailand , formerly known as Siam , is a country located at the centre of the Indochina peninsula and Southeast Asia. It is bordered to the north by Burma and Laos, to the east by Laos and Cambodia, to the south by the Gulf of Thailand and Malaysia, and to the...

. Signed to Capitol Records
Capitol Records
Capitol Records is a major United States based record label, formerly located in Los Angeles, but operating in New York City as part of Capitol Music Group. Its former headquarters building, the Capitol Tower, is a major landmark near the corner of Hollywood and Vine...

 by Al Coury
Al Coury
Al Coury was a 1970s vice-president of American record label Capitol Records. He joined the label in 1957 and rose to the position of vice-president of marketing, sales and promotion...

, the group released an album of new material in 1976. (A live album was also recorded in Japan, but was not released in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 until the mid-1990s.) The tours coincided with the syndication of the Monkees TV series, and helped boost sales of Arista's The Monkees Greatest Hits.

Dolenz, Jones, Boyce and Hart also starred in their own TV special called The Great Golden Hits of the Monkees Show, which appeared in syndication. It featured a medley of other Boyce and Hart songs, as well as the songs they had produced for the Monkees. Strangely, it did not include any songs from their new album.

Later years

In 1979 Boyce formed his own band, called The Tommy Band, and toured the UK
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 as support to Andrew Matheson (ex-Hollywood Brats). The tour was largely ignored by the public especially in Middlesbrough
Middlesbrough is a large town situated on the south bank of the River Tees in north east England, that sits within the ceremonial county of North Yorkshire...

 where reportedly just one person paid to watch the show. Boyce and Hart reunited during the 1980s resurgence of the Monkees, and performed live.

During that same year, The First Bobby Hart Solo Album was released in Europe on WEA Records. The group included: Bobby Hart: keyboard and vocals, Victor Vanacore: keyboards, Larry Taylor
Larry Taylor
Larry Taylor is an American bass guitarist, best known for his work as a member of Canned Heat from 1967. Before joining Canned Heat he had been a session bassist for The Monkees and Jerry Lee Lewis...

: bass, Vince Megna
Vince Megna
Vince Megna is a Wisconsin attorney "known as the leading lemon law attorney in the United States." Lemon Law is the body of law that offers protection to owners of motor vehicles with recurring mechanical or other problems that are not resolved within a reasonable time by the dealer or...

: guitar, John Hoke: drums, and "Blue Jay" Patton: saxophone. Five years later, in 1983, Hart was nominated for an Oscar
Academy Awards
An Academy Award, also known as an Oscar, is an accolade bestowed by the American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to recognize excellence of professionals in the film industry, including directors, actors, and writers...

 in 1983 for his song "Over You", written for the film Tender Mercies
Tender Mercies
Tender Mercies is a 1983 American drama film directed by Bruce Beresford. The screenplay by Horton Foote focuses on Mac Sledge, a recovering alcoholic country music singer who seeks to turn his life around through his relationship with a young widow and her son in rural Texas...


After a stint living in the UK
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

, Boyce returned to live in Nashville, Tennessee
Nashville, Tennessee
Nashville is the capital of the U.S. state of Tennessee and the county seat of Davidson County. It is located on the Cumberland River in Davidson County, in the north-central part of the state. The city is a center for the health care, publishing, banking and transportation industries, and is home...

, where he struggled with depression, and later suffered a brain aneurysm
An aneurysm or aneurism is a localized, blood-filled balloon-like bulge in the wall of a blood vessel. Aneurysms can commonly occur in arteries at the base of the brain and an aortic aneurysm occurs in the main artery carrying blood from the left ventricle of the heart...

. On November 23rd 1994, Boyce committed suicide.

According to the Rolling Stone Encyclopedia of Rock & Roll, Boyce and Hart wrote more than 300 songs, and sold more than 42 million records as a partnership.


  • Test Patterns (A&M LP 126 (Mono)/SP 4126 (Stereo), 1967)
  • I Wonder What She's Doing Tonight (A&M LP 143/SP 4143, 1968)
  • It's All Happening On The Inside* (A&M SP 4162, 1969)
  • Dolenz, Jones, Boyce & Hart (Capitol ST-11513, 1976)
  • Dolenz, Jones, Boyce & Hart - Live in Japan (Capitol/Toshiba-EMI ECS-91018, 1981)
  • 16 Rarities (SG Records, 1981—This is bootleg of B-sides and oddities)
  • The Anthology (A&M Records Australia/Polygram 525 193-2, 1995)

Album Notes
  • It's All Happening On The Inside was released in Canada as Which One's Boyce & Which One's Hart?

  • "Out and About"/"My Little Chickadee"
  • "Love Every Day"/"Sometimes She's A Little Girl"
  • "I Wonder What She's Doing Tonight
    I Wonder What She's Doing Tonight
    I Wonder What She's Doing Tonight was a song written, produced, and sung by Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart . The song was arranged by Artie Butler. It was a hit in 1968, reaching #7 on the Cash Box chart and #8 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The song features a trumpet solo by Marvin Stamm...

    "/"The Ambushers"
  • "Goodbye Baby (I Don't Want To See You Cry)"/"Where Angels Go, Trouble Follows"
  • "Alice Long (You're Still My Favorite Girlfriend)"/"P.O. Box 9847"
  • "We're All Going To The Same Place"/"Six+Six"
  • "Maybe Somebody Heard"/"It's All Happening On The Inside"
  • "L.U.V. (Let Us Vote)"/"I Wanna Be Free"
  • "I'll Blow You A Kiss In The Wind"/"Smilin'" (Aquarian/Bell Records)
  • "I Remember The Feeling"/"You and I" (as DJB&H on Capitol Records)

All singles released by A&M Records except where indicated

Singles notes:
  • "The Ambushers", "P.O. Box 9847", "Six+Six", "L.U.V. (Let Us Vote)", "I'll Blow You A Kiss In The Wind" and "Smilin'" never appeared on an original album.
  • "L.U.V. (Let Us Vote)" was the official campaign song for the Let Us Vote movement to lower the voting age to 18.
  • "P.O. Box 9847" and "I Wanna Be Free" were originally released by the Monkees.
  • "You and I" (DJB&H) was later re-recorded and released in 1996 by the Monkees.
  • "(I'm Not Your) Steppin' Stone" was covered by the Sex Pistols
    Sex Pistols
    The Sex Pistols were an English punk rock band that formed in London in 1975. They were responsible for initiating the punk movement in the United Kingdom and inspiring many later punk and alternative rock musicians...

    , and by hardcore punk band Minor Threat
    Minor Threat
    Minor Threat was an American hardcore punk band formed in Washington, D.C. in 1980 and disbanded in 1983. The band was relatively short-lived, but had a strong influence on the hardcore punk music scene, both stylistically and in establishing a "do it yourself" ethic for music distribution and...

     on their album In My Eyes.
  • "I'll Blow You A Kiss In The Wind" was featured in the Bewitched
    Bewitched is an American situation comedy originally broadcast for eight seasons on ABC from 1964 to 1972, starring Elizabeth Montgomery, Dick York and Dick Sargent , Agnes Moorehead, and David White. The show is about a witch who marries a mortal and tries to lead the life of a typical suburban...

     episode "Serena Stops the Show" on which Boyce and Hart appeared as themselves. The episode also features Elizabeth Montgomery
    Elizabeth Montgomery
    Elizabeth Victoria Montgomery was an American film and television actress whose career spanned five decades. She is perhaps best remembered for her roles as Samantha Stephens in Bewitched, as Ellen Harrod in A Case of Rape and as Lizzie Borden in The Legend of Lizzie Borden.-Early life:Born in Los...

    's performance (as Serena) of the song.
  • "The Ambushers" and "Where Angels Go, Trouble Follows" singles are Columbia Pictures movie theme titles.

External links